- Newsmaker: Pentagon and Congress Clash over Crusader
The Republican Congress today defied the Bush White House and passed a defense bill that includes 475 million dollars for "the Crusader" mobile artillery system. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the system is no longer relevant to 21st Century warfare. John Donnelly, Editor of Defense Week, praises Rumsfeld for putting his prestige on the line by cutting a major weapons program.
- Reporter's Notebook: War Crimes Investigated in Chile
This week, a Chilean magistrate is questioning American witnesses about the disappearance and execution of Charles Horman. Horman's death gave birth to Missing, the 1980's film starring Jack Lemon, which portrayed Chile's brutal 1973 military coup and the treatment of American citizens by US officials. Marc Cooper was translator to President Salvador Allende when he was overthrown by General Pinochet.
Ashcroft Reverses US Position on Second Amendment
America's ongoing battle over gun control goes back to the Second Amendment itself: "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." In 1939, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state's right to maintain militias. Now Attorney General John Ashcroft has come under fire for trying to "ingratiate the Bush administration to the gun lobby" through the use of footnotes in two briefs to the Supreme Court that emphasize the individual's right to own guns. Are they merely symbolic assertions of a Constitutional right or the beginning of the end to federal gun control laws? We look at the impact of the Ashcroft decision with representatives of the Violence Policy Center, the National Rifle Association and former officials of the Justice Department.